Waafrika 123 Featured Artist: Briana Patnode

What role do you play in Waafrika 123?

Bobby. Bobby is as former Peace Corps volunteer who falls in love and stays in this rural village.

Why are the stories told in Waafrika 123 important to share with the community?

More queer love stories all the time.

What has been rewarding about working on this production?

This show is immense, but I’ve been really fortunate to work with this stunning group of artists, and really build a family around this project.

Talk about your background as an artist. What sort of artistic experience are you bringing to this production? Have you been involved with 20% Theatre in the past?

I’m a local freelance artist: I thrive off of making, whether that be acting on stage, in film, [being] behind or in front of a camera, playing dress-up endlessly, and being around people who care about shit. I’m interested in making things that matter; I think this show matters. This is my 3rd show with 20% Theatre Co.

What social issues are important to you and how do they inform the art you create?

Black lives matter – I want to actively work against white supremacy in my art. Especially after participating in this show, I will never work with a white majority again, which unfortunately limits me within our local commercial scene (*yes, that’s shade), but there are so many amazing artists around here, [so] I’m not worried about it.

What other artists or performances have inspired you over the years?

I am inspired by protest pieces; I am addicted to television as a medium for storytelling; fashion inspires me, especially queer fashion.

Are you working on any other projects right now or ones that you hope to coming up?

I want to make a webseries about queer/poc intersectional and diverse artists in Minneapolis. In the snow. ‘Cause why not–it’s a pain in the ass and we’re fucking badass. I’m also interested in addressing the way we as artists navigate our mental health with/through our art. I want it to reflect my greysexuality, and explore bodies and relationships in non-sexual ways.

Aside from working on Waafrika 123, how do you spend your time?

If I had nothing to do, I’d be traveling and playing dress-up. Or re-decorating my living spaces. I just want to be *making* all the time.

Describe your pre-performance ritual if you have one.

Water, candy–go!